“Ma te huruhuru, ka rere te manu” - Give the bird feathers, the bird can then fly
Te Whare Tangata facilitators Amanda Chalmers and Deli Diack (Awarua Whānau Services Kaimahi) hosted an interactive workshop on the 4th of March for the midwives around Murihiku.
Te Whare Tangata (house of humanity) was created out of the need to provide culturally appropriate antenatal education. It is a reclamation of traditional Māori birthing practices and birthrights around haputanga (pregnancy), labour, birth, wai ū (breast feeding) and te pihinga (post-birth). This is practiced through Te Whare Tapa Whā, which is a holistic approach to hauora (well-being). Te Whare Tangata is typically delivered to hapū mama and their whānau. These classes are limited to 10 whānau per roopu (group) which enables more participation and impactful learning.
Amanda Chalmers (facilitator) Hine te iwaiwa (atua of childbirth) Deli Diack (facilitator)
The 3-hour workshop shared only a snippet of Delis and Amanda’s extensive knowledge. The midwives participated in making Muka Tie using harakeke/flax to tie Pepi’s Iho/Umbilical cord and making clay Ipu Whenua – a biodegradable, natural resource for burying pēpi’s whenua/placenta. These activities were chosen as Deli believes in the power of ‘seeing and doing’ for comprehension of mātauranga (knowledge/skills).
Ipu Whenua can be made from hue (gourd), harakeke or clay and are used as a special container to hold the whenua (placenta) after pēpi is born. These materials are used for their biodegradable properties. These are then buried in a special place where they will not be disturbed.
Muka tie is a natural alternative to the plastic umbilical cord clamp. It is made from the natural fibers of the harakeke/flax plant. It has natural health properties that help the healing process of pēpis belly button.
Those that attended shared in some of the whakapapa/mātauranga passed down through generations with aroha (love) and passion for the Kaupapa. This was some of their feedback:
“Full of genuine knowledge shared with compassion and love”
“Safe and happy environment to share information”
“Loved this hands-on craftwork and relevance to Māori whānau”
A hapū mama commented how nice it was to know her midwife was getting the cultural support to support her through her own pregnancy and birth. A few also commented how they would like this wananga once a year and they wished it went for longer.
Amanda and Deli were honoured to be a part of this cultural education session to tautoko (support) midwives with their cultural understanding and confidence to support hapū mama.
They welcome all referrals to Te Whare Tangata Programme, under Mama & Pepi/mokopuna www.awarua.nz/contact
Alternatively, they welcome you to kōrero by calling: